‘Unappreciated’ and ‘Stressed’ – the most dominant emotions in the workplace
Over the last year, unappreciated has fast become one of the dominant emotions in the workplace (second actually to stressed)! A year ago, it was right down in 5th place. So what happened? Our data shows that it comes down to two main areas. One is very simply solved- the other is a bit more structural in nature.
The first one employees are clearly saying they don’t feel recognised any more, and that leaders stopped saying ‘thanks’. That verbal and non-verbal signs of recognition dropped off a cliff post pandemic? So what, we all changed some habits for 18 months and then fell back into old habits?… Well yes, actually that is what seems to have happened.
Managers and leaders got better at being appreciative, took time to say thanks and recognise their people…and then sadly they stopped and went back to old habits….but isn’t that what a lot of us did? New habits were formed, but old habits die hard and came back into play.
The second reason for unappreciation rising so high is reward, at its simplest we are seeing this play out across the UK right now, hundreds of thousands of workers striking saying ‘we want to be appreciated by being rewarded for the work we do’ and to be clear it is about hard numbers and figures.
Now, depending on your economic world view this is simply solved (just give employees high salary rises and they will spend more and be taxed more which is good for the economy). Or, hard to solve (giving millions of employees high salary rises will keep inflation high, and rob us all of our money meaning we ultimately have less).
Either way, this solving unappreciation through reward, is harder as it involves a lot more people and bigger decisions that take time (as we can see from the ongoing strikes).
But back to the good news!
From Inpulse data, recognition is by 2:1 the bigger reason mentioned when it comes to unappreciation. So there really is NO excuse for leaders and line managers not to act, go back to some of the great habits they formed, and start helping their people feel appreciated. Get this right, and you’ll see the benefits of higher engagement, from retention to advocacy, higher productivity to better wellbeing….come on leaders step up!